Grandmother Charged In Hate Crime

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Monday, April 2, 2012 - 7:48am

71-year-old attacks gay neighbor while screaming hateful slurs.

A 71-year-old Richland Hills, Texas grandmother has been charged with a hate crime after she attacked a gay neighbor with her cane while yelling offensive slurs.

Wanda Derby bonded out of jail Thursday afternoon.

The victim, Lloyd Guerrero, 25, said the attack followed days of growing tension.

Derby's son moved in with Guerrero and his family about a week ago, he said.

Guerrero said the attack Wednesday night was unprovoked.

"Honestly, it looked like something out of a TV show. She just, like, whack," Guerrero said, motioning with his hand. "And I will say, she hit pretty hard."

Guerrero, an actor, said Derby also slapped his mother and assaulted several others.

"We finally got the cane and got it away from her and threw it on the ground," he said. "And then that's when I ran around and got inside the house. And then we started trying to shut the door. And she was like, full force, coming. I honestly don't know what she was thinking or what she even had in her."

The responding police officers saw marks and bruising on Guerrero's throat and torso.

Guerrero said Derby has repeatedly called him a slur referring to his sexual orientation.

"I was very offended," he said. "You just don't go around calling people names because. It's just not normal."

He also said she posted messages about him online.

"She put on Facebook that I had AIDS and that I was going to die soon from AIDS anyway," he said.

His friends saw the postings and he said he's had to reassure them he doesn't have the disease.

Police say the cane she used is considered a deadly weapon.

The charge was enhanced as a hate crime.

According to Texas law, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon carries a maximum 20-year prison term.

However, as a hate crime, the possible sentence increases to life behind bars.

"She deserves every bit of it," Guerrero said.
 

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